Sports Development Unit

Get Active Cycle Challenges

Bicycle

Get active and Get Cycling

Adults should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, according to physical activity guidelines for adults from the UK Chief Medical Officers. To see the full publication on the GOV.UK website please click here.

Moderate intensity physical activities, such as cycling, is best described as causing you to get warmer, breathe harder and your heart to beat faster, but you can still carry on a conversation.

We've put together monthly challenges designed to motivate you to exceed these minimum levels of activity for a healthier you. For our latest challenge click here (PDF, 212kb, 2 pages).

Please note: All challenges are done at your own pace, please remember to wear a helmet and carry lights for the darker evenings

Below are our top 5 reasons to cycle:

  1. Cycling improves mental well-being

    A study by the YMCA showed that people who had a physically active lifestyle had a wellbeing score 32 per cent higher than inactive individuals. There are so many ways that exercise can boost your mood: there’s the basic release of adrenalin and endorphins, and the improved confidence that comes from achieving new things.

  2. Cycling improves lung health

    Not only is it true that exercise helps to strengthen your lungs, but a recent study suggests that people who ride a bike are actually exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who travel by car. A study by the Healthy Air Campaign, Kings College London, and Camden Council, saw air pollution detectors fitted to a car driver and a cyclist using a busy route through central London. The results showed that the driver experienced five times higher pollution levels than the cyclist.

  3. Cycling improves brain power

    Exercise has been repeatedly linked to brain health and the reduction of cognitive changes that can leave us vulnerable to dementia later in life. A 2013 study found that during exercise, cyclists’ blood flow in the brain rose by 28 per cent, and up to 70 per cent in specific areas. Not only that, but after exercise, in some areas blood flow remained up by 40 per cent even after exercise.

  4. Cycling strengthens your immune system 

    Dr. David Nieman and his colleagues at Appalachian State University studied 1000 adults up to the age of 85. They found that exercise had huge benefits on the health of the upper respiratory system, thus reducing instances of the common cold. Dr. Nieman said: “People can knock down sick days by about 40 percent by exercising aerobically on most days of the week while at the same time receiving many other exercise-related health benefits.

  5. Cycling can grow your social circle

    Cycling is an incredibly sociable sport. Grassroots cycling revolves around cycling club culture, which in turn revolves around the club ride: Several hours of riding at an intensity that enables easy chat, interrupted only by a cafe stop (or the occasional puncture). Joining a cycling club or group is an excellent way to grow your social circle, and if you’re new to riding these groups can help with the maintenance, training and route advice you may have been looking for.